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CORTISOL (8AM)

About the test
What is this test done for?
Cortisol 8AM is a blood test done at 8 am to diagnose Cushing syndrome or primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency.
Why is it Done?
Cortisol is a hormone produced by adrenal glands. It has been tested in diurnal variations as it rises and falls, peak at 8am and 4pm. The blood cortisol levels assess both free and protein-bound hormone levels to help diagnose conditions like Cushing syndrome or adrenal insufficiency.
When should it be performed?

This test is done when the following signs and symptoms are present:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Purple streaks on the abdomen
  • Muscle weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark patches on skin
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. The test is done after 12 hours of fasting.
Results
  • Normal values of cortisol at 8 am is 6 to 23mg/dL.
  • If the levels are high it possibly suggests that person is suffering from Cushing syndrome.
  • If it is low due to adrenal damage it would suggests the diagnosis of Addison’s disease.
  • Cortisol levels may also increase due to obesity and hyperthyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism may show low cortisol levels.
Other Tests
ACTH is another hormone blood test done to evaluate if the person is suffering from congenital hyperplasia as it is similar to adrenal insufficiency and affects cortisol levels.
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